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Paul says that Demas “deserted” him because he was “in love with this present world.” This is the same Demas who sent greetings in Col 4.14 and who Paul commends as a fellow worker in Philemon 24. Yet at the end of Paul’s life, Demas had abandoned Paul and to all appearances abandoned the Christian faith entirely.

The draw of the world is an ever present temptation for followers of Christ. This is because it is easier and more enticing to pursue worldly things, the payoff is immediate and the gain, though temporary, does “fulfill” us. Following Jesus requires faith and the understanding that we are not satisfied with temporary joy that may last for 70-80 years. We want something greater, we desire eternal joy that will last through the coming ages [a concept I gleaned, unsurprisingly, from John Piper].

Paul puts it this way: “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” (2 Cor. 4.17)

In contrast to Demas, we are willing to suffer affliction now because we believe with Paul that there awaits us “an eternal weight of glory” that is inconceivable.

 

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